From the Peninsula — the great raid.
--The "great raid" which was coming up the Peninsula turns out to be a very small affair. Without annoying the public by a repetition in print of the thousand exaggerated rumors which were in circulation yesterday, we give below all the facts of the affair, which are furnished us by an officer of the signal corps, who arrived in the city last night from New Kent C. H.
We had pickets at New Kent C. H., Morris's Church, and near Balls's Store, all of these points being about thirty miles from Richmond. These pickets were driven in at an early hour Thursday morning by the 11th Pennsylvania cavalry, commanded by Col. Spears, and numbering about 400 men — that regiment being the entire force which has been so greatly exaggerated.
The Yankees after driving in our pickets chased them to Bottom's Bridge, (over the Chickahominy river,) about fifteen miles from the city, which they reached in the afternoon. At this point Col. Shingler dismounted about forty of our cavalry and put them forward as skirmishers. These dismounted men opened fire on the approaching Yankees, and the fire was returned for a short time, but the enemy, getting tired of the sport, retreated about twilight, falling back to Cross-Roads, where they bivouacked for the night. Yesterday, morning early they again took up their backward line of march in the direction of New Kent C. H.
A short distance from the Court-House Col. Robins's cavalry engaged them and killed one of their number. After this engagement the Yankees continued retreating in the direction of Barhamsville, and are by this time doubtless in Williamsburg. Two of the members of Holcombe's Legion were killed while pursuing the enemy, one of them being shot through mistake by our own men, and one by being thrown from his horse. The only thieving we have heard of perpetrated by the Yankees was the breaking open of a farmer's smoke-house in New Kent and the removal of the meat it contained. And so ends this raid, which was being made, according to rumor, by 7,000 cavalry, infantry, and artillery.
The city troops, who went down below yesterday morning, will doubtless return to-day.
Another raid was going on off the Peninsula while the one detailed above was in progress, for an account of which we are indebted to a friend who participated in an attempt to catch the raiders.
On Wednesday evening last a small side-wheel steamer entered the Chickahominy river, which stream it ascended a distance of fifteen miles, and landed a small party of soldiers on the north bank at Hog Neck wharf, who made a reconnaissance, searched several houses in the neighborhood, and retired. On Thursday morning the same boat again appeared, and landed about thirty men at Lamb's, on the south side of the river, who immediately commenced a plundering expedition in the vicinity of the boat. Captain Hanley, of General Wise's command, with twenty men, was dispatched to catch these thieves. He came upon them about a mile and a half from their boat, but was ordered to wait until he could get them further inland so as to capture the whole party. While they were waiting however, a citizen, whose house they were plundering and who was ambushed to watch them, became exasperated at the sight and fired on them. His example was followed by several of our men, who also fired without orders, and so alarmed the thieves that they fled to their gunboat, after discharging their muskets at random.
-from the Richmond Daily Dispatch of August 29, 1863